DDN Magazine March 2023 DDN March_2023 | Page 10


Female friendly

Following the Drugs , Alcohol and Justice APPG ’ s look at the challenges for women accessing treatment in last month ’ s DDN , Anna Whitton describes some developments at WDP and across the sector when it comes to improving women ’ s treatment provision

The Collective Voice ‘ Women ’ s Treatment Working Group ’ launched on International Women ’ s Day 2021 . Comprised of female leaders who come together to make a difference , we share practice , influence our respective organisations , and advocate externally on the need for improved drug and alcohol services for women .

Central to our approach is a recognition that there are much-needed changes that we can take responsibility for . There are of course also many areas where we need to harness our collective influencing power , including how we might influence systems and policy change to drive improvements for women .
Our presentation to the Drugs , Alcohol and Justice All-Party Parliamentary Group last month ( DDN , February , p23 ) is an example of this work . To find out more about the group , check out our page on the Collective Voice website at www . collectivevoice . org . uk / womens-alcohol-anddrug-treatment .
This collaborative approach is especially timely – women have been under-represented in services for too long , and the data presents a worrying picture . Drug-related deaths among women have been increasing for more than ten successive years – for example there were 195 cocaine deaths in 2021 compared to 19 in 2010 .
Learning from research , sharing practice through the Women ’ s Treatment Working Group and hearing what the women who come to our services tell us , we have been reviewing and refreshing how we do things . As part of a broader traumainformed approach with womenspecific interventions , practical steps are being strengthened across all of our services , such as :